Copperbelt Energy Shares rally 43% on CDC, AP Moller $USD380million takeover bid

Power transmission lines to the mines on the Copperbelt Province of Zambia

COPPERBELT ENERGY CORPORATION – CEC shares rallied 43% of the Lusaka Stock Exchange on news of a CDC – U.K Development Finance Institution – and AP Moller $USD380million bid.  CDC Group plc (“CDC”), confirmed the bid development on its website. If this transaction materialises, CDC will earn status of majority shareholder in the Energy distribution company – CEC.

CDC has made a general offer to the Board of CEC. The Board is now following the process required by the Zambian Takeover Code and an offer document and circular will be circulated to shareholders in due course.  If the offer is successful, it will be partly financed by A P Moller Capital’s Africa Infrastructure Fund, CDC’s co-investor.

CDC has a long history of investing in Zambia having invested in Chilanga Cement now Lafarge PLC (in 1949), IHS in 2012, Mpongwe in and owns 17.5% of Zambeef PLC as at 2016. As at 09.44am in Lusaka CEC shares on the LuSE are trading for ZMW2.1 per share from ZMW1.46 per share on 31 January when the news was released to the market. See graph below for price trajectory.

Bloomberg extract graph of Copperbelt Energy Corporation – CEC share price on the Lusaka Stock Exchange.

Total ordinary issued shares for CEC are 1,625, 000,597 for which CDC has offered to buy (all) at a price of $USD0.2338 as at 22 January 2018, which translate to $USD380million converted at BOZ rate of ZMW9.7614/USD on the day. This purchase is is being facilitated by Zambian Transmission LLP which is 100% owned by CDC.

Below is an extract from the CDC press release obtained from its website:

CEC is a leading Zambian power transmission, distribution and generation company and a major developer of energy infrastructure in Zambia. CEC owns, operates and maintains power transmission as well as generation assets and supplies electricity to customers in Zambia.

CDC’s offer for the company is based on an explicit developmental strategy to expand renewable power generation in Zambia and increase regional power trading. While CEC has a strong track record in transmitting reliable power in Zambia, supplying over 700MW to industry and households in the Copperbelt region, CDC sees the company’s potential to increase its power generation capacity in order to support the growing demand for electricity in Zambia.

CDC’s Head of Infrastructure, Sameh Shenouda said:

“Power infrastructure is vital for Africa’s economic growth and job creation. CDC’s bid for Copperbelt Energy Corporation will increase both renewable power generation in Zambia and the growth of regional power trading. Power outages cost African countries an estimated 1-2% of GDP annually and Zambia and its neighbours require an increase in the supply of reliable power. 

CEC is one of Zambia’s leading companies but we believe it has much more to offer. Under CDC and A P Moller’s ownership it is planned that CEC will bring an additional 150MW of renewable generation to the Zambian network and increase the amount of much-needed power available. Our proposal has the support of the Zambian government who recognise the long-term, positive role that CDC has played in the economic development of the country.”

A P Moller Capital’s Managing Partner and CEO, Kim Fejfer, added:

“The power sector in Africa is significantly underdeveloped, whether we look at energy access, installed capacity, or overall consumption. The sub-Saharan Africa’s residential and industrial sectors suffer electricity shortages which means that countries struggle to sustain GDP growth. A P Moller Capital and CDC together focus on making a lasting difference by helping businesses to become profitable and economically sound over the long term. With this investment, we believe we can support further development of Zambia’s power generation capacity and infrastructure.”

More articles on CDC and AP Moller CEC bid.